October 23rd, 2007
01:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Stark apologizes for saying troops die for Bush's 'amusement'

Watch Stark's apology on the House floor Tuesday..

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, apologized Tuesday on the House floor for his recent comments saying troops in Iraq were getting "their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

The apology came shortly after House Republicans failed in their effort to formally censure Stark for the remark.

"I do apologize, and for this reason, I think that we have a serious issue before us, the issue of providing medical care to children, the issue of what we do about a war that we are divided about how to end," Stark said. "I hope that with this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be and that we can return to the issues that do divide us, but that we can resolve in a better fashion."

Democrats successfully blocked a resolution by a 196-173 vote to censure Stark for "personally abusive language toward the president and members of the House" and "despicable conduct."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Stark "dishonored our soldiers" and said the House can't "afford to let these kinds of remarks go unanswered."

Stark made the controversial comments during a debate over President Bush's veto of children's health care legislation last week.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Iraq
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. John Chicago

    REp Stark had EVER right to say what he said…primarily because he is right!!! THey ARE just being killed for Bush's Amusement. Keep in mind people that Bush is PERSOANLLY responsiible for killing more AMERICAN citizens then Bin Laden did on Sept. 11.

    Posted By Tim – New Brunswick, NJ : October 23, 2007 2:59 pm

    Tim,
    Comments like these are really troubling first of all Bush is not Killing our solidiers. Our brave men and woman volunteer to fight for our freedom knowing they could be sent to battle, therefore Bush is not killing them , they are volunteering to fight terrorist and TERRORIST are the ones killing our solidiers. Please get informed on what is really happening over there and the progress being made and how the war has no shifted in our favor, IT IS NOT 2006 anymore. It is almost sad that you hate BUSH so much you block out all reality. Question for your uninformed democrat, Did Bush kill those people in the twin towers or did the terrorist? Love to hear your uninformed answer. I always thought liberals were at least informed on what was going on and that is not the case anymore. They read headlines and go about their day without actually doing a little bit of research on their own and cast these crazy opinions that are not even close to reality. Democrats have really become a dumb uniformed angry breed that is pulling down the rest of society.

    October 24, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. John Chicago

    Tim,
    Comments like these are really troubling first of all Bush is not Killing our solidiers. Our brave men and woman volunteer to fight for our freedom knowing they could be sent to battle, therefore Bush is not killing them , they are volunteering to fight terrorist and TERRORIST are the ones killing our solidiers. Please get informed on what is really happening over there and the progress being made and how the war has no shifted in our favor, IT IS NOT 2006 anymore. It is almost sad that you hate BUSH so much you block out all reality. Question for your uninformed democrat, Did Bush kill those people in the twin towers or did the terrorist? Love to hear your uninformed answer. I always thought liberals were at least informed on what was going on and that is not the case anymore. They read headlines and go about their day without actually doing a little bit of research on their own and cast these crazy opinions that are not even close to reality. Democrats have really become a dumb uniformed angry breed that is pulling down the rest of society. Cnn I know you want to protect Democrats but stop deleting my posts.

    October 24, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Congressman Stark should not have apologized for his comments. If an apology is needed, it is from Bush for taking this nation to war in Iraq for no reason what so ever. And then having done so, failed once again, to have a plan as to what to do with Iraq once our military forces acheived the great and decisive military victory that they did over the Iraqi military and disposed of the Saddam reigm. Oh, yes, from the jaws of victory Bush was able to grasp defeat or at very best a long drawn out affair that had it been properly executed should have been over within 12-18 months at very most.

    I am a veteran, a former Officer and have a son that plans on a military carreer. Stark does not owe an apology to anyone, but Bush and Cheney, nothing they could ever say would be enough to cover their sins in the lack of competant leadership and guidance that they have subjected this nation to.

    October 24, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. Karen,nj

    The only reason that Democrats have become angry is because we are alot brighter than Republicans. PUBS will follow their "leaders" around blindly just because they are their party. Dems question everyone. If they feel that it is right they go for it. If wrong, they reject it. Dems Do Not follow their leaders around blindly. We have minds of our own! BIG DIFFERENCE. Might be why we have the stubborn mule for our logo.

    October 24, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL

    I applaud Rep. Stark's apology; admitting an error and apologizing is a sign of maturity.

    The troop surge in Iraq is evidently successful. There has been a 70% reduction in violence in Iraq (per Glenn Beck's website).

    Isn't it ironic that many news media are ignoring this fact?

    President Bush has been successful in keeping America safe; it's not a coincidence that we haven't had attacks on U.S. soil since 09/11/2001.

    American efforts to liberate Iraq and Afghanistan are noble.

    Those who believe the terrorists will not follow us home if we merely remove our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan are foolish and short sighted.

    October 24, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Karen,ny

    I will be back later. But, I'd just like to point out that some people just can not be trusted around here. That is another one on my won't respond to list.

    October 24, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Karen
    please read the blogs...the Republicans provide fact based answers virtually 100% of the time – the Democrats provide rhetoric filled baseless speculation responses – and we are the dumb ones?? (our party doesn't pick up the homeless with the incentive of free donuts to get them to vote for Democrats....yours does...look it up) – oh...and read this on Starks need to apoligize....There are "rules" in the house….you are NOT allowed to personally attack another member or the president (thats the real rules) – now…regardless of party affiliation – someone of principle would choose to enforce the "laws" – now….it almost like when Bill Clinton testified under a sworn oath that he did not "have sexual relations with that woman" – we know this was a lie….and this was also under "oath" – which is a crime (regardless of whether or not you believe the crime wasn't that bad…or a personal issue) – it shows that rules no longer apply….same goes for both parties….

    October 24, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Jeanne Arnold Saint Petersburg Florida

    So he apologized. We know how he feels because we agree with him. When I talked to the people around here, we all hoped he would not apologize. He did but we still know how he feels.

    October 24, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Justin, Somerset, Ohio

    Wow, it is amazing how libs characterize Prez Bush. Certainly you do not think that he enjoys seeing these brave men & women getting killed. While I am a registered Republican, I am not a fan of Bush in any regard (not any more, at least). But it is time to take the party talking points and throw them away. START THINKING FOR YOURSELF, AMERICA AND GET SOME COMMON SENSE!!!!!

    October 24, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. JC Topeka, KS

    Thomas, St Petersburg

    Stark had no reason to apoligize other than political presure.

    Violence is down, well so are offensive actions being conducted by our forces, somehow the two co-exist. Is Iraq safer than it was 6 months ago, not really, the Iraqi military can not control the country, the Iraqi police are not trustworthy, the Iraqi government is non-functoning, so I guess you could say status quo. Ironic how followers of the faith ignor that fact.

    And how many attacks were made on US soil prior to 9-11-2001. And please don't try and count other crimminal acts.

    Bottom line is 9-11 was a spectacular event, if you belive you are safer today than you were on 9-10-2001 I pity you.

    Afganistan was justified, unfortuently, members of our administration became bored with Afganistan and shifted their actions to a nation that may have been an embrassment, but was no threat. Today we see them once again with a over stretched military attemmpting to shift attention to Iran. We are told that we need to worry about Iran gaining nuclear status, we are going to put a missle defense system in Eastern Europe, to the annoyance of the Russians, we tell the Russians not to worry the missle defense system will only have 10 missiles and they have 1000's, well guess what we have 1000's too. So lets destabilize theregion with a missle defense system that is not needed and beat the war drums once again at Iran this time to take the focus off of Afganistan and Iraq.

    Can we leave Iraq now, no, we can not, but not because anyone is going to follow us home, trust me they already know where we live.

    Bottom line, bin Laden has not been captured or killed, forces were taken out of Afganistan to invade Iraq, rather than complete the mission in Afganistan. Then rather than following doctrine and establishing an overwhelming force to accomplish an established military objective that once accomplished would bring about the withdrawal of our forces from Iraq, we invaded with a force to small for the job at hand, with no idenitified military objective that would result in mission completion and permit the withdrawal of those forces. The net result, we have committed our military to a meat grinder that should never have been permitted to occur. We have recreated the slogan of nation building, something that after Vietnam we said we would never permit ours selves to become involved in again. Our forces are spread thin about the world, and the administration has no plans and no intention of scaling back operations until we have broken the back of our military, and at that time they will blame everyone one else for their short comings because it happened on someone elses watch.

    Being a Patriot, and an American is not being blinded by party politics, nor blindly following the administration and agreeing with everything that they set forth.

    October 24, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Independent Voter, TN

    Kim (with the IQ of 155), learning how to use paragraphs might take you up to 156 and really impress us. I feel so privileged to be on the same blog as a GENIUS! Give my best to Wile E Coyote (Suuuuper Genius).

    October 24, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Mark, B'ham, Al.

    Stopping the spread of communism in Korea, South Viet Nam, and Nicaruagua are noble reasons for this country to fight the battle. Desert Storm to liberate an invaded country is noble. Afganistan to root out the terrorist is noble. And I know to over throw Saddam which I wish I could have done when I was in Desert Storm is noble. For those of you who beleive Saddam was contained look at the failure of the Oil for Food program and the attitude of UN members (Russia, China, France and Germany) about sanctions being enforced. The problem with all these wars is not that we got into them, it is that the politically correct, communist supporters, anti-military, and those with rose colored glasses on would not let the military do thier job and fight to win! War is Hell and should be the last resort but if we have to go, lets do everyting to win. For those who talk about innocent civilians, human shields are not innocent, only those who are bound in the building where the enemy attacks from are innocent. Our current enemies will not fight like men, no they fight behind the skirts of women and children who are their willing human shields. The truth hurts. Oh, I'm gald that Mr. Stark apoligized for showing his parties true colors since post Viet Nam about the military.

    October 25, 2007 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
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